Monday, June 15, 2015

Review: Undertow by Michael Buckley



Title: Undertow
Author: Michael Buckley
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication Date: May 5th, 2015 
Genre: Fantasy 
Page Count: 384 
Age Range: 12+



Synopsis (from Goodreads);
Sixteen-year-old Lyric Walker's life is forever changed when she witnesses the arrival of 30,000 Alpha, a five- nation race of ocean- dwelling warriors, on her beach in Coney Island. the world's initial wonder and awe over the Alpha quickly turns ugly and paranoid and violent, and Lyric's small town transforms into a military zone with humans on one side and Alpha on the other. When Lyric is recruited to help the crown prince, a boy named Fathom, assimilate, she beings to fall for him. But their love is a dangerous one, and there are forces on both sides working to keep them apart. Only, what if the Alpha are not actually the enemy? What if they are in fact humanity's only hope of survival? Because the real enemy is coming. And it's more terrifying than anything the world has ever seen. 

My Thoughts:
This book was not what I expected. You know how in the synopsis it says "a five- nation race of ocean- dwelling warriors"?? Yeah well I guess I was picturing a different kind of ocean dwelling warriors because the ones in this book were SO CRAZY AWESOME. Picture the Grievers from the Maze Runner but under water. Yeah, that awesome. There are different races of these sea people (Alphas) and each race has a specific highlight. I think this was one of my favorite things about this book. It was so imaginative. Author, Michael Buckley, did a wonderful job crafting these creatures and how they interact with the human race.

Okay so let me get to my review now. So this book is about a girl named Lyric who has lived on Coney Island for most of her life. But, with the arrival of the Alpha, tensions are high. The citizens do not want them there, and the Alpha believe it is their right to stay there. When some Alpha are brought into the local high school, Lyric must help her community assimilate the new arrivals, one of them being Fathom, the crown prince.

So besides my love for the Alphas, there were a couple other things I loved about this book. First of all, I loved Lyric's best friend. Bex is the funny sidekick who loves her best friend. I really felt the connection between the two of them and I loved that Bex got her own story line. Although it was not that great, I was happy to see that the book did not just revolve around Lyric. Bex has trouble at home and usually stays with Lyric and her parents. This whole situation really showed the kindness of both Lyric and her parents, which will be necessary throughout the novel.

I also liked the relationship between the humans and the Alpha. The city government, mayor, National Guard, and the police force are in the midst of each event and that adds to the suspense of everything that both the Alpha and Lyric are planning. I do not want to tell you what these things are because I do not want to ruin the book for you so I will leave this part of the review out. Anyway, I liked how you got to see how the reaction was by the humans, which included using the government. I feel that so many YA books have crazy things happening but the authorities are never involved. Like how many books have you read where something life shattering happens (like a freakin war) and the local government, or citizens are like "la de da". So yeah, I liked Buckley's use of that factor.

Okay on to the next thing. The one things that got me though was the predictability. There were not any "aha" moments, just "I knew that was going to happen" moments, which was sad. I wanted to be surprised but instead I was just sort of let down in that department.

Rating: ***/*
Cover Rating: Its nice
Recommendations:
1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
2. A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
3. The Carnival at Bay by Jessie Ann Foley


Now, what do you think?


Sincerely,
a Book Nerd

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